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Perdue: All NC students must be college/career-bound

Governor Bev Perdue wants the state's educators to focus on getting high school students ready for a career or college. She announced the plans at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis Wednesday during the annual meeting of state school governing boards. WFAE's Simone Orendain has more: The state of North Carolina is vying for a piece of $4.4 billion dollars in federal money for education. And Governor Bev Perdue told a crowd of about 275 education, business and faith leaders the way to receive this funding is to ensure that students graduate from high school ready to go to college or enter the working world. She calls this "the core" of what all educators in the state should work toward. "As these works move forward, I believe it's truly important for you to monitor it, for the business community to monitor it because we can't get this wrong," she said. "And that's why I'm here today announcing this. Because you have to be essentially involved in what those definitions of what common core should be and where we're going to take this country and this state." The state's high school graduation rate is about 71 percent. Perdue says to raise this rate, students would have to pass reading, writing and math consistently before the third grade. This would mean luring strong teachers with incentives to academically struggling schools. She also says all students must have access to technology. The governor says money in the state budget can be redirected to support these efforts. The US Department of Education is offering grants to 15 states that come up with plans that would prod students to go to college, measure student growth, recruit strong teachers and principals and turn around failing schools. The state is submitting its application for the federal grant on January 19th.